City Hall commemorates campaign of giving to United Way

Staff photo by Adam Urquhart From left, Director of the Division of Public Health and Community Services Bobbie Bagley, Mayor Jim Donchess, Amherst Street School paraeducator Jessica Schoenly, Superintendent of Schools Jamal Mosley, Nashua Engineering Department staffer Bill Toomey, President of United Way of Greater Nashua Mike Apfelberg and Elm Street Middle School teacher Brad Schott commemorate Thursday’s celebration of fundraising.

With a 48 percent increase in participation, the successful completion of the Nashua City and Schools Combined 2018 United Way Campaign was commemorated at City Hall Thursday afternoon.

Mayor Jim Donchess, Superintendent Jahmal Mosley, representatives from the highest participation school (Bicentennial) and Department (Community Services) and others gathered for the commemoration.

Both the city of Nashua and the school district have done workplace campaigns for United Way for years, but President of United Way of Greater Nashua Mike Apfelberg said it became a combined campaign three years ago.

“All employees for both the city and schools, which there are many, have the opportunity in the months of November and December to make a pledge, and that pledge, for the most part, becomes a donation that comes out of their paycheck throughout the year,” Apfelberg said, adding that, “Each year it’s getting better.”

In making that pledge, a couple bucks a pay period will be given throughout the year to support United Way.

Aside from the increase in participation, he said they also saw an increase in dollars donated through the campaign by 10 percent.

“Between the city and the school employees, we had a total of 242 employees participate, which is terrific, and they raised a total just shy of $28,000,” Apfelberg said, adding that, “That money goes primarily to supporting all the different partnerships and collaborations with agencies in the community.”

With the support from Donchess, Mosley and the Nashua Teachers and Custodians unions, those 242 participating employees ended up donating $27,759.

For United Way, this campaign is more about participation than dollars, yet they saw an increase in both.

“Overall, we have a lot of gratitude for their generosity. Some of them don’t make a lot of money and are very generous in giving back. We appreciate that attitude in stepping up to the plate, and making a difference,” Apfelberg said.

Alongside the commemoration, winners of various raffles sponsored by the mayor’s office for the campaign were present, with prizes in hand. The Nashua Silver Knights also donated a suite night for each of the two departments with the highest participation percentage.

Two plaques were also awarded during the commemoration, and Mosley accepted one on behalf of Bicentennial, and director of the Division of Public Health and Community Services Bobbie Bagley on behalf of the city.

“United Way is a great organization for the city, because they raise money and distribute it to worthwhile social services and organizations. The money is spent wisely,” Donchess said, adding that, “The number of participants is up considerably along with the amount raised. We’re really happy with the campaign.”

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.